Transactional relationships are as old as time itself and over the years, the phenomenon has been repackaged under various colloquialisms - the latest being ‘hashtag blessed’ and related terms such as 'blesser' and 'blessee.'
Although this is nothing new, one tends to wonder why the blesser-blessee phenomenon continues to draw so much interest from the public. Ever since numerous news reports and exposes surrounding these relationships made their way into mainstream, South African news media, the conversation has continued without showing any signs of losing momentum.
Business woman and MoFaya brand strategist turned author, Jackie Phamotse, released a book about this late last year, titled ‘Bare,’ and though it got off to a relatively quiet start (considering the explosive contents of the book), it began to pick up towards the end of 2017. 'Bare' was released in August, which doubles as women’s month in South Africa and Phamotse dedicated it to the late Karabo Mokoena who lived the kind of life detailed in the book and was later killed by her boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe.
This was, in part, due to the fact that the author released this book in an effort to equip readers with a better understanding of what really goes on in this lifestyle in an effort to dissuade those who were considering going down the same path she did.
The book's increased media covergae was fuelled by a number of controversial interviews including her interview on Metro FM’s ‘The Drive with Mo Flava & Masechaba Ndlovu’ in which Phamotse detailed the existence of an elite club which doubled as a sex den for South Africa’s rich and famous to live out their most decadent and debaucherous desires with young, nubile men and women who were hungry for the luxury lifestyle.
During the official launch of her book, held in mid-December 2017, the author detailed how she had been gang-raped at the age of 17 before speaking out against prominent politician whom she revealed had also raped her. To this day, Phamotse is yet to mention any names.
True tales about blessees and the sex lives of powerful South African politicians and businessmen that she had witnessed first-hand form much of the content of her book, and as a result, her life has been in danger from the minute she decided to go public with all that she knows.
Speaking to City Press, Phamotse expressed her concern about the fact that she suspects an attempt will be made on her life by the unnamed minister who is currently a deputy in the upper echelons of government. She believes said attempt on her life will be made to look like an accident so she has to check her car every time before she gets into it and she has to be mindful about what she eats, where she eats and who prepares her food.
She has also been questioned about why she didn’t pursue legal action against the minister in question and has stated that it is because she lacked the resources to take on someone at that level, despite her past lifestyle.
The stories in 'Bare' are told from the perspective of a fictional character named Treasure who moves to the city from an area called Westonaria, West of Johannesburg. Phamotse says that a number of the chapters are loosely based on her own life while others are based on what those around her went through.
The prologue of the book gets right into it with salacious details about the kinds of interactions and sex that takes place between blessers and blessees.
“Slowly and shamefully, she reaches down to her groin to confirm the obvious. Of course, she could tell that she did have sex a few hours ago.
“Oh God, not again,” she whispered.
She knew without a reasonable doubt, that the sex had been unprotected, something else she promised herself would never happen again.”
How shocked you are by what you read depends on how desensitized you have become to the possibility that such a world exists. The first few chapters then set the tone for the lead character’s life and focus heavily on her teen years. It’s only halfway through the book that things really get interesting.
From nightclubs, blessers and materialistic slavery to social media illusions and sexpots, Phamotse’s ‘Bare’ serves as an eye-opener to the reality of what may lie beneath the surface of the lives of many of Johannesburg’s young men and women.
The book, which Phamotse invested over R150,000 of her own money in self-publishing, is available at most major bookstores (such as CNA and Exclusive books, Plus Skoops at Montecasino for R200) as well as online. Similar titles include another book written by Phamotse titled, 'Shattered Innocence' as well as a book by Angela Makholwa titled 'The Blessed Girl.'
Phamotse also spoke to SABC 3 talk show host, Anele Mdoda about the book. Watch her interview below:
Main image credit: Supplied